Monday, February 29, 2016

2016-02-26 - Friday - Sunshine

When I returned to my car on in a parking garage on Friday I noticed this pattern on the wall. The sunlight was beautifully reflected and refracted by my headlight lens. I had to grab a few snapshots before I got into the car. I really like the way the lines intersect and the highlight of the prismatic effect across the line just stuns me.

I could very easily see this as the basis for glaze decoration on a platter.

Who knew I had such talented headlights?


2016-02-24 - Wednesday - Tea bowls and a happy little guy

Wednesday night I started remaking the tea bowls I began before the holidays. I let those get way too dry to trim so I slaked down the clay and started over again. I threw them off the hump and was pleased that I actually had some siblings. Sometimes you make siblings, sometimes their cousins, and all too often for me they are neighbors.

I plan on making more in this cycle.

I was the last person to leave (as usual) and when I checked to make sure the door was locked in the front classroom, I saw Amy Sanders' stuff out for her Thursday morning class. I couldn't resist leaving her a little present for the morning so I made this little guy.

He was happy, I was happy, and I hope he made Amy smile when she found him.


Thursday, February 25, 2016

2016-02-22 - Monday - Delhom Collection and studio artist meeting

Monday I ran over (late) to the Mint Museum at 1:00 pm for the second part of the tour of the Delhom Collection with Brian Gallagher. It was another amazing tour through the history of British ceramics.

Monday evening I went (late) to the studio artist meeting for the upcoming Spring Sale & Open House on April 1st and 2nd at Clayworks. We had a good turnout and decided a lot of things about the sale and the preparations.


Wednesday, February 24, 2016

2016-02-21 - Sunday - Bad design and night flowers

Driving by some new apartments or condos on Sunday I was struck by how bad I thought the design was. The first thing that caught my eye was that the stone blocks on the front were way too small for the expanse they covered. Next, there was just too many different surface treatments on one building for my taste.

I know there is a huge building boom happening, but it's not all pretty.

Sunday night I took some photos of the daffodils in the front yard by streetlight. It made for an interesting effect with my phone.


2016-02-20 - Saturday - Part 2, Inflatable

Later Saturday night I watched a Periscope with Brett Kern. He makes "inflatable" dinosaurs out of clay. It's stunning how much they look like vinyl inflatable toys.

It was a good 'scope of him attaching the hind legs of a sauropod.

Check out his work.


Saturday, February 20, 2016

2016-02-20 - Saturday - Computers, Lunch, and Pottery

Today I helped some friends with their computer. Afterwards they treated me to a wonderful lunch and we chatted for a while. It's nice to spend time with nice people and catch up a bit.

Next, it was on to Clayworks to look at a new router and make some pots. Since I got a later start than I had planned I tentatively connected the router and then finished glazing the last six Empty Bowls. They only needed some clear glaze over the underglaze designs and a small spray of cobalt to finish them, so it was quick work.

I talked to a few people at the studio and then it was off again home to wait for Karen and have supper.

Nothing monumental, but like so many days it was a full one.

I'm thankful.


2016-02-19 - Friday - Catching up with friends

I've been enjoying using Periscope lately, watching and chatting with friends far and wide.

This week I've checked in with Michael Kline, Adam Field, Will Baker, and someone I haven't chatted with for a long time: Angela Walford.

It was great catching up with Angela in her new studio in Seppeltsfield, South Australia. We had a nice chat about pots, obvara firing, mutual friends, and of course, Doctor Who.

Angela and I met online several years ago while blogging. A bunch of us connected via blogger and had a great time sharing ideas and stories around the world. When Facebook came along a lot of us went there, then Instagram. Some of us have gotten back to blogging and it's a nice change to the rapid-fire rhythm of Facebook.

In 2011 Angela came to Shelby, NC with Doug Fitch and Hannah McAndrew (now Fitch) for a great workshop. It was wonderful meeting everyone IRL (In Real Life) and we all had a great day. There were so many great memories and one was Angela and I discussing Doctor Who.

I can't recommend Periscope enough. Catching up with old friends and meeting new ones is wonderful.

In video.

In real time.


I forgot to take a screenshot during the scope
so I had to get one from the replay.


Thursday, February 18, 2016

2016-02-17 - Wednesday - Wednesday Crackles

Tonight I threw two more crackle pots with the last of my orangestone. I like the forms although I would have liked a bit more clay when I got to the rims. We'll see how they look after glazing and firing.



Wednesday, February 17, 2016

2016-02-16 - Tuesday - New pot

Tonight I trimmed and carved the two snorkel pots and threw a new crackle pot using sodium silicate. Instead of a garlic pot this time I threw one with a more formal rim. Since I couldn't get my hand inside I had to stretch it with my throwing stick, which is a wooden spoon. I normally use my finger to make the ribs so this time I had to use the handle of the spoon for the ribs on the corners.

It's good practice since it's harder to feel the thickness of the clay when using a wooden tool instead of your fingers. By changing things up it allows us to stretch a bit.


Tuesday, February 16, 2016

2016-02-15 - Monday - Ice

We're getting some freezing rain tonight. The meteorologists have been all wrong about this storm.

First, it was supposed to snow on Sunday night, change to freezing rain this morning, and then all rain after lunch, getting warmer as the afternoon wore on.

This morning was bone dry.

Next, we were told that the freezing rain would start at around 1:00 pm. At about 1:30 it started sprinkling regular rain on and off. It stopped for several hours and we were told not to worry because the temperature would rise in the evening. Instead, the freezing rain started just before sunset and is still continuing at a bit after 11:00 pm, still freezing.

We are seeing on the TV news that the interstates are a mess and we're wondering what the morning will be like.

At least it's warm and dry here. I hope you are too.

Icicles on the lamp post.

Ice in the trees.


Monday, February 15, 2016

2016-02-13 - Saturday - Photos and Periscope

Saturday my friend Edson Scudder came by Clayworks to photograph some of my Empty Bowls. Edson likes to play with light and images as much as I like to play with mud and fire. He had some really creative ideas for staging the bowls and we had a lot of fun playing with perceptions. Thank you Edson and please come back anytime.

No stance is too dangerous... get the shot.
(photo from Edson's Facebook post)

Who's that guy?
(photo from Edson's Facebook post)

I noticed this ghostly floating measuring cup in the sink bin.

Later in the day I was trimming some pots and watching Michael Kline paint on a tiny cup on Periscope. It's very relaxing to work on your pots while watching/listening to a master doing his or her work. I just set up the phone next to my wheel and went to work.

MK's tiny cup.


2016-02-12 - Friday - Early Friday Morning Periscope

Thanks to Michael Kline (the king of all pottery social media) I have started using Periscope. There are a LOT of potters using Periscope now. I've watched Michael Kline paint pots, Will Baker throw ramen bowls, and Adam Field glaze Onggi jars, among others. They're all streaming live video from wherever they are and we viewers can comment, ask questions, and "applaud" by tapping the screen.

Michael Kline has taken us on a tour of STARworks clay facility. Adam Field has given us a tour of the Archie Bray gallery,and the Turman Larison Contemporary Gallery in Helena while they were having an opening.

It's exciting. There's almost always a potter online doing something and we can peer in on them. It's like a very laid back, ongoing mini workshop. If nobody is currently online you can watch the recordings for twenty four hours before they disappear.

Thanks to all the presenters who are letting us into their worlds.

I wanted to include this screenshot of Adam Field (the churro king) because it has the word albatross in the comments which makes me giggle every time I see it.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

2016-02-12 - Friday - Snow showers

Friday morning we had intermittent snow showers so I went outside with Binkley and snapped some photos. We don't get too much snow here so it's kind of nice.

Lenten roses in the snow.

The phone doesn't pick it up too well, but it was actually heavy flurries.


2016-02-11 - Thursday - Snorkel Pots

Thursday night I made some snorkel pots and tried making a three-piece one for the first time. I'm not sure if I like it as much, but there it is. I want to take these in a different direction (or several), but it's a "try it and see" kind of thing, so watch for some new twists as I find my path.

It's a kit.

Some assembly required.

More traditional (well, for me).


Saturday, February 13, 2016

2016-02-10 - Wednesday - Empty Bowls out of the kiln

Wednesday I checked out the bowls I made towards Claywork's donation to the Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina's Empty Bowls event. I think they came out pretty well. I hope they'll be popular at the event. Reminder: Get tickets before they sell out.

For the last few years I like to try something different and loosen up a bit more each year. I wonder what next year will bring.

After photographing the bowls and putting them away again I threw some pots. I feel kind of rusty right now and I'm throwing some tentative forms trying to get my balance back.


2016-02-07 - Sunday - Dutch baby with apples and cinnamon

Sunday I made another Dutch baby pancake. This one was based on a recipe my friend Amy gave me on Facebook. It had apples and cinnamon on it and it was delicious.


Friday, February 12, 2016

2016-02-06 - Saturday - Glazing like a crazy man

Saturday was a marathon.

I started out with one of my new favorite breakfasts.

Took some photos of the flowers blooming in the front yard.

Went to the farmers market with Karen and Stephanie.

Went to Clayworks and helped Kimberly remove some stuck fuses from a misfiring kiln. Re-slaked some of my clay. Did a little housekeeping on my shelves. Talked to a few people for a while...

...and THEN the real day started.

Eggs and oatmeal and sriracha.


Vinca Minor.

Remember all of those Empty Bowls I've been making? This year I decided to glaze them all at once instead of doing them in small batches.

It seemed like a good idea at the time.

I had to wax all the bottoms and after that I started experimenting with painting underglaze as a wash and using my squeeze bottle as a pen to fill in details. Suddenly I realized it was 7:00 pm. I dropped everything and ran to the grocery store. I bought some food for supper, went home and fed us, and then back to Clayworks to finish the glazing. I left Stephanie making a batch of fudge while her boyfriend, Brett was on Skype with her. Crazy kids.

Everything was where I left it (I left a note saying I'd be back after supper) and I was alone. I turned the music up and got back to it.

While I was having a lot of fun trying new things, I had to keep a pretty good amount of pressure on the squeeze bottle to keep the flow going and after a couple of hours of it I realized I was hunched over and my mid-back was killing me. I stretched my back out on one of the tables for a few minutes before continuing the process.

I finally got finished with the underglaze at about 11:00 pm. Next I had to paint clear over all the paintings. After that I painted wax resist over the clear. I dipped the bowls in the main color glaze for the non-painted areas. Finally, I wiped all the excess glaze off the feet of the bowls and took them to the kiln room.

By the time I finished cleaning up my mess it was almost 2:00 am and every joint hurt from standing on the concrete floors for so long. I'm almost 58 now, and these marathons are not getting easier.

Next year I'm going back to glazing small batches.

Stack 'o bowls.

Waxing the bottoms.

Having fun with underglazes. These are just some of them.

Stephanie making fudge with Brett's support.

Finished the underglaze.

Almost finished the glazing.
I still have to finish the six in the foreground.